Theatre33 debuts new play

A new kind of reality will be taking center stage.

“Animal Tales,” a new project presented by the youth studio at Theatre33, tells the story of human civilization — from Adam and Eve to virtual reality —through animals.

Written by American playwright Don Nigro, “Animal Tales” narrates human civilization through 11 mini-plays.

Since founded in 2013, the international nonprofit community theatre’s mission is to stimulate, promote and develop an interest in the dramatic arts, both for artists and audiences.

“We strive to provide quality live productions that speak to the hearts of the audience and evoke current social problems and eternal ethical questions,” the group’s online mission statement says. “Our vision is to make quality theatrical entertainment and education accessible to a diverse and multicultural community.”

Marianna Chebotaryova is Theatre33’s founder and director. Even though the studio opened in 2013, this is its first full season.

“Animal Tales” is this season’s first youth production. Theatre33 puts on productions with all three age groups: children, youth and adults.

“‘Animal Tales’ is very interesting,” Chebotaryova said. “It’s a modern play made up of 11 short plays. The actors tell human history through the lives of animals… Some are funny, others are dark and poignant — it touches on a lot of different topics.”

Though the actors portray different animals, the actors themselves are not in any kind of animal costume.

“That’s how the playwright intended it, and I prefer it too,” Chebotaryova said.

The cast has been rehearsing since November. However, rehearsals are only once a week. “Animal Tales” will debut Jan. 25 and will conclude Feb. 8.

During rehearsal, Chebotaryova said she enjoyed reliving history with the actors.

“The opportunity to speak with the youth about human history,” she said. “We’ve had some really great discussions about it.”

Chebotaryova said the production is suitable for families and may serve as a good conversation starter about different topics.

“It has an open ending,” she said. “You’re left to ask questions and talk about the future.”

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Courtesy photos                                Olga Kuturga and Oliver Mickelson rehearse for “Animal Tales.”

Courtesy photos Olga Kuturga and Oliver Mickelson rehearse for “Animal Tales.”